BY CARMEL HARRISON
THE LEEDS Life group has pledged to continue its fight for financial backing, despite being told by the Government-backed Teenage Pregnancy Strategy that its remit is too narrow.
Joyce Marshall, a retired mid-wife, who is one of the organisers of an autumn conference aimed at reducing the incidence of teenage pregnancy in the city, told The Catholic Herald that Life's application for grants had been refused out of last year's budget.
She said the pro-life charity had been told categorically another application would not be treated favourably.
Now Life members have written to local MPs in the city asking for support and are hoping they will get backing from prominent Catholic MP, John Battle. "We have had a lot of support from other Life groups who have organised similar teenage conferences, such as Sheffield and Preston," Mrs Marshall said.
"They have told us not to give up our fight for backing because the work is so important," Issues covered by the Leeds Life group include personal hygiene, development of the foetus before birth, relationships and
childcare. The group has targetted six inner city schools, two of which are Catholic, and invited them to the conference, which will be held at the Royal Armouries, close to the city centre.
"Surely if the Government is committed to cutting teenage pregnancies in inner cities you would imagine it would support such initiatives ours, so we are still hopeful," Mrs Marshall said.